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Dischordia - Thanatopsis Award winner

Dischordia
Thanatopsis
by Andrej Romić (Nekrst Fanzine) at 21 April 2017, 10:48 PM

A certain problem that occurs almost every year is that people seem to notice only the releases that come out during one half of it. Those that come out at the beginning and the end seem to shift away unnoticed like they weren’t even released. I’m not complaining too much about this release though, since it had a lot of fans and people enjoyed the release, and as far as I know, it received mostly positive feedback, so I definitely won’t be the one to break the habit. What bothers me however is the fact that this release was a late November one (25th), and not many people actually included this album on their year-end lists. It was a good album! It still is.

The album that I’m going to talk about today is the second full-length by Oklahoma City based Technical Death Metal group DISCHORDIA. Active for only 7 years, their 2010 formation led to a debut EP “Creator, Destroyer” just a year after that in 2011, and their first full-length, “Project 19” in 2013; with another EP “Sources” in 2015, and the “new” album “Thanatopsis” in 2016. As April is slowly coming to its end, I still have a need to appreciate records from last year, because…why not? This group blends progressiveness with technicality so well, that they manage to create a weird, interesting, abstract musical landscape that is so atmospheric that it’s almost beyond comprehension. Their new record consisted of 9 pure tracks of savage yet beautiful Technical Death Metal that is true to its roots, but has no fear of experimentation. I would like to highlight some tracks as examples to better understand what’s actually going on this album.

The record starts off with the first of the three similar-named songs, and first “Thanatopsis I: The River” is on, and it starts off with a nice, calm guitar riff, followed by incredibly chilling bass lines, whilst the listener can also experience some bird chirping and general ambient moments in the background. Thing then slowly start to speed up - but incredibly slowly, as this is a 5:20 minute track. Some drumming begins, harder and more complex riffs can be heard at the 2-minute mark; they are incredibly technical, yet somehow melted by the progressive passages. The vocals are somewhat typical for the genre mix, but they still manage to remain original. Mostly growl vocals can be heard. I adore how good the fretless bass is sounds. This band sometimes reminded a lot of the early and at times the new work of GORGUTS - mostly due to their incredible atmospheric riffs, and blending more genres into one, with you still being capable of recognizing each one of them, one by one.

As the first song ends, “Thanatopsis II: The Road” begins. It is more complex than the first song, featuring more complex riffs and deeper vocals that remind you a lot of the old-school, jazzy and dizzy Technical Death Metal scene. I’m not going to highlight the length of the track here, since it wouldn’t count as anything special, being that all tracks are over 5 minutes long, and some are even 7. Lots of PESTILENCE, sometimes ATHEIST vibes can be heard, but not for too long. “Thanatopsis III: The Ruin” ends the journey of the three similarly named songs, and this third track is slightly characteristic for its weird atmosphere. It’s unorganized on purpose, creating a dizzy and almost messy sound of guitars, and the vocals are getting super weird on this track too. Super heavy drumming here - love that.

The Curator”, fourth track, is something different than what we’ve previously heard. It focuses less on speed and more on guitar depth; and the tone of the guitar on this track is godlike, the deep, structural tone is just beyond words, and it almost gives me a MESHUGGAH feeling. Over 6 minutes long, this is a track people that aren’t fans of the more technical side of Death Metal can enjoy too. Things get a lot out of hand, and the overall atmosphere gets incredibly Djent-influenced. “22°” is not much different from the previous track, but it’s a bit more on-point; the riffs are a bit more organized and don’t just jump around without any meaning.

An Unlikely Story” starts off with some weird intro, but the music is ear-candy when it comes to my taste, because this is the perfect track that I was actually searching for, and I knew this release would surprise me with one of those. It’s amazing; the riffs are absolutely on-point and the vocalizations are not too weird, but just perfect. This is a more progressive track, for fans of heavier stuff. However, I got my favourite, so far.

Bone Hive” shocked me in all terms - positively, of course, since the track is heavy, a bit melodic, and it reminds you slightly of Jeff Hughell’s solo project, which uses no guitars, due to the similar sound. It’s not bad track, but I wasn’t too blown away it. “Madness” is catchy, since the track itself is madness. Things speed up just like in the beginning, and things kind of don’t get out of hand. Everything is perfectly rendered and organized, to a point that the mix sounds crystal clean. I love the track because it reminds me a lot of the riffs DEATH used back in the day.

I must admit, the album artwork is not too pretty, but what it’s hiding on its musical side is just amazing; not judging books by covers, right. The interesting thing about DISCHORDIA is that their influences aren’t too clear, as they are not too stated, but if you focus truly on the music, you’ll be able to make out some of the parts of what the members were influenced by. Off to the end, and an again it’s a characteristic, almost predictable maze of guitar riffs on the ninth track “The Traveler”. Almost 9 minutes long, this track somehow showcases the entire album. It picked up various influences from the previous songs, and created something mad, yet incredible. I love the drums, love the weird and crazy riffs, love the amazing vocals and the bass (oh that bass) - simply wow. This release is a must for any true fan of music, especially if you’re a tech-head!

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Thanatopsis I:The River
  2. Thanatopsis II: The Road
  3. Thanatopsis III: The Ruin
  4. The Curator
  5. 22°
  6. An Unlikely Story
  7. Bone Hive
  8. Madness
  9. The Traveler
Lineup:
Josh Fallin - Drums
Josh Turner - Vocals, Bass
Keeno - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Rogue Records America
     


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